Thursday, April 24, 2008

Personify Your Muse

Thanks to my daughter's influence. I now think of the muse as a fairy. We built her a house near the peonies and we wait for her to come. I noticed that the peonies are finally pushing through the soil today. The muse is near.

When I interviewed other gardeners last year for the book I have written, I learned that the muse brings a variety of riches to those who are open to it. For some, the muse sharpens the creative spirit. Working in the gardens stirs the soul to spread creativity throughout one's life. Many are inspired to channel energies toward artistic endeavors, unrelated to gardening, pursuing the fine arts to express how nature makes one feel.

In Greek mythology, the muses are the Greek goddesses, daughters of Zeus, who presided over the arts and sciences. Though today we usually consider the muse as one who inspires a fine artist, the muse can be a source for inspiration and influence other parts of our lives too. The muse helps others find a sense of calm that they can use to help others in work that requires it. The gardening muse inspires doctors to be more open to alternate treatments or ways of thinking. It helps people think outside of themselves, to better feel a sense of compassion for other living beings. The muse encourages us to transfer what we learn thinking outside of the box to others. I think of one gardener I met who shares her love of nature with her students, bringing seed pods to school and telling stories of butterflies in far-away lands. Surely she is inspired by a muse. It is a little voice in her head that tells her that what she is thinking is "cool" and inspires her to go further with her ideas.

When I"m not thinking of fairies, I think of my own living fairy. Since her birth, my daughter has served as a muse for me. Her presence helps me find new channels for my ideas. She encourages me to create wonderful garden spaces, to reach for new artistic challenges, and to share my love of nature with others.

It may help to think of the muse in some lifelike form - a fairy, a child, a forest creature, a long-lost relative. Whatever or whomever comes to mind as you work is appropriate. This identification with another living creature can help propel you to new levels of magnificence.

To see the muse in rare form, visit Ming with Esther in the Garden .


Esther Montgomery said...

Ming is flattered - I can tell!


Esther Montgomery said...

By the way, I've made a CONTENTS PAGE FOR ESTHER IN THE GARDEN to make it easier for new readers to 'catch up' if they are interested!


Nancy J. Bond said...

I've always thought of my writing muse as a mermaid, though I don't suppose she'd be of much help in the garden now, would she? ;-)

Pomona Belvedere said...

I enjoyed this musing on muses. It's true they help you think out of the box, but I never consciously thought of that. My muses are mostly plants--maybe if I tried a mermaid I'd be more fluid...